Loving Others – Small places – I am a sinner – Our God is King … the themes Lynn L’Heureux reflects on in her final for the year 2013
Dear Vincentian Family: Here we are, the last day of the year and the 7th day of Christmas. My new year’s resolution each year is to be a little better. This year, after reading the gospels relating to Joseph, I have a deep love for Joseph and realized we do not hear much about him and how very important he is. The account in Matthew is an amazing love story. We hear the account a few times and especially on the feast of the Holy family in last Sunday’s readings. My new resolution is to appreciate my husband more. He is always there and always willing to forgive my Irish temper. He encourages me and is a great family leader for our children and grandchildren. We sometimes take our husbands for granted. Matthew’s Gospel reminds us of the loving man behind the Blessed Virgin Mary – a man we can look up to. Do something special for your spouse, if you are married and if not for a man who may need extra attention and prayers and especially for the Priests, the men in all our lives – say an extra prayer of love and support. Happy New Year!
Loving Others – The Holy Spirit gives us the courage, strength and the will to love and help others. The gift of God’s love shines through each of us to others. We don’t rescue them from the darkness, which is definitely God’s job. In His plan we bring them the light and plant the seed of love and light and He takes over. As we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family remember love is what makes our families holy. Loving each other and bringing love to others. Let your children know they are loved. No matter what happens in our life God loves you. As parents and grandparents we must let our children know they are loved. It is the right thing to do. They are such special gifts from God on loan to us to love. Letting them know they are loved is the best return for God’s gift.
Small Places – My grandmother used to tell me to look for goodness in small places and it is where we see God. I remember as a child finding the smallest place to be and talk to God. I hadn’t heard that phrase for years until our Deacon (Art) at St. Michael’s in Calgary gave a homily on finding Jesus in “Thin Places” which is a Celtic belief. It opened up many memories for me. In his homily it indicated the Christmas Crib was a small place, and Jesus should be very close to us there. I think of Jesus every time I see an infant or child. He is present and His love pours out in these small places. The other place which you know I speak of often, but never referred as a small place was in the Eucharist. It is available to us each day and it is in a small wafer a small place, with great love and might. Seek Jesus in the small places in your life and especially the Eucharist.
I Am a Sinner: Remember Pope Francis say this. Who are you? I am a sinner. I tend to say this a lot, but I was totally enthralled when Pope Francis said it. He is holy! I am a sinner, working on holiness. It made me realize we sometimes forget we are sinners. My friend says, when we are perfect, we are no longer on earth, but in the arms of God. So, although I don’t celebrate I am a sinner, I do acknowledge it and know I must confess each day in prayer and of course engage in reconciliation. I am not proud of being a sinner, but I do know I have to face it to be a better Christian. It keeps me from judging and being more open to those I serve. The one message given to us as Vincentians is “Do not Judge!” It seems to be the hardest to grasp. We seem to sometimes thrive on gossip or anger at the reasons people are in poverty when we forget to look at ourselves and our faults. Although I am a sinner, I keep trying to be better and I’ve shared my favorite saying with you before. Saints are the sinners who keep on trying. Enjoy your journey to Sainthood.
Our God is King – “Forever I will sing of the goodness of our Lord.” (Psalm 96) What has amazed you about Jesus? The amazing presence for me is every Eucharist. Every Mass we see this amazing presence and, as Vincentians we bring this to all we serve, all we serve with, our families, co-workers, strangers and actually all we encounter. This is the amazing Jesus our God and King. We bring Him with us from the Eucharist. He continues to amaze me when I knock at the door of someone in need and they see Him in me and although it embarrasses me, they often call me an angel. I love the hugs and I receive them for Jesus. This is the true gift of God’s love shining from me to those in need. I am not the rescuer, I am the messenger and God takes over. He gave me the light and I bring it to others. I especially felt this at Christmas in visiting those who were new to me for a Christmas hamper. They gave me joy and each one asked God to bless me. I have not witness that before. Each person and family was visibly touched by our Lord. It makes one very humble, indeed. The gift of God’s love was shining from Tony and I (He did the heavy work and I got to visit) to those in need. I might add this was also my small place as Jesus was very present as we got stuck in snow three times and on one of the stuck in the snow occasions we were rescued by a young “red necked” angel.
There are so many good things to learn about on www.famvin.org Relax with the stories and reflections and videos. Don’t forget to view the Catholic video of the 12 days of Christmas – the father gave to me.
Blessings, Hope, Peace, Joy and Love,
Lynn L’Heureux is Special needs co-coordinator & Advisor of the Society of St Vincent de Paul Calgary Alberta Canada
Subscribe to her weekly newsletter Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast (English and Spanish) by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org